Ephedra sinica is a substance that contains alkaloids known as ephedrine and pseudoephedrine. These alkaloids have been found to stimulate the central nervous system, as well as to increase bronchodilation and vascoconstriction. When combined with coffee, ephedrine can have positive effects with regard to weight loss. There have been many safety concerns expressed about ephedra and ephedrine use. They have been associated with the onset of hypertension, tachycardia, CNS excitation, arrhythmia, myocardial infarction, and stroke.
This substance can lead to the possibility of the occurrence of serious adverse effects, especially when combined with other drugs, such as caffeine. As a result, ephedra is not recommended in any dosage. This is particularly true with regard to children, given the risk of toxicity and even death.
It is important to take into account ones allergies with regard to ephedra consumption. Those with confirmed allergies to ephedra, ephedrine, and pseudoephedrine should clearly avoid consumption of this substance. Those who are allergic might display itching, rash, flaking skin, or red skin.
Side effects of ephedra
Many side effects exist with regard to ephedra and similar products. Side effects include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, anxiety, dizziness, tremors, headaches, insomnia, dry mouth, delirium, and fainting. Some people might also experience euphoria, irritability, hallucinations, stroke, or seizures as a result of exposure to ephedra. Other reported side effects include low potassium levels, exaggerated reflexes, muscle ache, weakness, muscle damage, mania, agitation, depression, suicidal tendencies, or symptoms similar to those involved in Parkinson’s disease. For those who have experienced stroke or transient ischemic attacks in the past, ephedra consumption should be completely avoided.
Among the myriad of potential side effects, ephedra might also lead to chest tightness, arrhythmia, heart muscle damage, hypertension, heart attack, heart inflammation, fluid retention, breathing difficulties, dilated cardiomyopathy, thrombosis, and cardiac arrest. Some other potential side effects include liver damage, kidney stones, urination difficulties, frequent urination, and contraction of the uterus.
As you can see, ephedra should be used under conditions of extreme caution and care. Those with kidney disease should strictly limit their exposure to ephedra, or even completely avoid its usage altogether. Caution should also be exerted by those suffering from diabetes and hypoglycemia. It might be advisable to monitor serum glucose levels, and usage of the substance should also be completely ceased at least a week prior to undergoing surgical or diagnostic procedures. Those who are pregnant or breastfeeding should also avoid the use of ephedra.